Monday, April 30, 2012

Tokyo: Day 1

Yesterday began day one of our 3 week adventure off of our little island of Okinawa.  We woke up bright and early and got the last of our things packed up and headed to the airport.  After a quick 3 hour flight, we arrived in Tokyo.  We are staying at The New Sanno, a cheap (for Tokyo) military friendly hotel.  We spent yesterday relaxing in the hotel and eventually Uncle Fedya arrived!  The Adventure begins!
Snuggle time with Uncle Fedya!
This morning, we were up with the sun for a nice breakfast then off to explore this beautiful city.  Our first stop was Imperial Palace, the main residence of the emperor of Japan.  Unfortunately, you are not allowed in, but we were able to explore the east gardens.  We were amazed by some of the sights, for example, we couldn't get over how many guard gates they had!  We read that in just one of them, the Emperor had over 100 samurai's permanently assigned.  Don't mess with the Emperor!  We walked along the paths and saw lots of pretty flowers, a pretty skylike, a music hall, and even heard some kind of fight going on.  I think it may have been sumo!  Wish we could have seen!
Imperial palace gate

This was one of the guard houses.  This was one of the bigger ones that held about 100 samurais! 

Cute couple strolling along

Beautiful fountain

Imperial Palace East Garden

Music Hall

The moat.  Like I said, don't mess with Emperor!

After finishing our walk, we had some time to kill.  We made our way up the street a bit and walked into the National Science Museum.  Now I've seen my share of science museums.  Heck, we lived right outside of DC for a year and spent many childless weekends exploring the National mall.  This included spending time in many science museums.  This was without a doubt the coolest science museum i've seen.  It was so hands on, and it really got the kids interested in what they were learning about!  Everything had some kind of experiment to try to show how something works.  For example, I put my hand down and a camera zoomed in on my hand and talked about bacteria.  Of course, we couldn't understand any of the Japanese, but it was a cool experience nonetheless.

This part was all about cars.  I want this cute little guy!

5 year old biker dude

Driving a semi

This was neat, when you stepped inside, it was considerably warmer.  It also showed the effects of global warming on the environment

Russia in Japan!

I found this ironic...


This had you sit down and it shook back and forth like there was an earthquake.  

This was a great museum.  Afterwards, we hopped a train to Shinjuku to visit the national gardens.  We picked up some small little bites of lunch at FamilyMart to bring with us for a picnic.  This was a great stop.  Zach had been cooped up in the backpack carrier for a few hours and needed to move his legs.  We just needed a little break from the crazy.  These gardens were beautiful, and it seemed that everyone was doing what we were.  There were tons of people on blankets eating lunch and running around with their kids.  It was beautiful.  
Boys strolling around getting those legs moving!

Tokyo Tower from the park

Lots of people had the same idea

Lovers looking at the pond

The boys

So many people.  Reminded me a lot of a cross between central park and the national mall

beautiful crane

The little boy down there had a turtle in his hands.  

After our walk, we made it over to Meiji Shrine.  Meiji shrine is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken.  It was beautiful and fascinating to learn about.  We were even lucky enough to witness 3 weddings!  
The Torii at the entrance

Saw this girl in her Kimono outside

Barrels of sake donated to Meiji Shrine

Dima about to enter the shrine

My family- 15 month Zach, Dima, and 20 week prego Mama!

Before entering the shrine, everyone swished this water left then right then washed their hands, then took a sip and spit it out

Fedya engulfing the culture!


Prayers left by visitors.  I love reading these:

Wedding #1

How adorable is she?

I have those in the same size!

Wedding #2!

After our wonderful visit, we headed on the train to Harajuku- the shopping/teen district of Japan.  We didnt do much shopping considering i'm 20 weeks pregnant I want no part of clothing right now.  Besides, we will be in the states in just a week!  But we walked around and saw what there was to see.  

Huge line just to get inside one "mall"

After harajuku we decided we should just head on back to the hotel and hang out before dinner.  We headed to the pool for some fun time.  Zach hasn't been in a big tubby since he was 6 months, so it's been awhile.  Needless to say he had a little fun.  

What a great first day we had.  My pedometer reads that we walked a total of 10 miles, 28 flights of stairs, and over 21,000 steps!  According to the calculations according to my body weight, height, age and daily regular activity level- that's 955 calories!  What a long day for this prego Mama!  And so, after dinner at a random Japanese spot, we hit the sack ready for day 2!